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Conferences, workshops

On Wednesday, 25 August, the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Anatomy Museum will host the symposium Anatomy & Beyond, which is dedicated to the interaction between medicine and art. Artists, anatomists, scientists and doctors will discuss how art and anatomy envision the future of humanity on Earth and beyond.


Anyone who is interested is invited to attend the symposium via Zoom.

Anatomy & Beyond will take place throughout the day: the morning session will be moderated by the Head of the Anatomy Museum, Asst. Prof. Dr. med. Ieva Lībiete, then starting at 10:00, anatomist Richard Wingate will give a talk on alien anatomy, after which heart surgeon Francis Wells will outline the past and the future of anatomy for surgeons, and artist Joe Davis will talk about existential anatomy.

The first afternoon session will start at 13:00 and be moderated by doctor and medical artist Ann Van de Velde. During this time, space systems researcher, biologist and artist Angelo Vermeulen will talk about self-restoring synthetic ecosystems as humanity moves from space exploration to space colonisation, while plastic surgeon Andrew Burd will discuss smart facial prostheses, and artist and environmental activist Mara G. Haseltine will explore the links between our cultural and biological evolution through art.

The second afternoon session will start at 15:00 and is be moderated by the curator of the symposium, medical artist Pascale Pollier. In this session, artist Nina Sellars will look at the critical post-humanism anatomy museums, artist Andrew Carnie will talk about the borders anatomy, while the sculptor Eleanor Crook will discuss how people in the past imagined the future.

At 17:00, curator Alexander Lucas Bierri will talk about the long-lasting influence that the founder of scientific anatomy Andreas Vesalius has had on the Dance Macabre genre of art, starting a discussion about the future of death. The symposium continue with diplomat and writer Theo Dirix, anatomist and museum curator William Edwards, and Mark Roughley, who is a specialist in digitising people of the past. 

The symposium will conclude with a performance by poet Bryan Green and a vernissage of the Anatomy & Beyond art exhibition, which will open to the general public at the Anatomy Museum on 9 September.

The symposium takes place within the framework of the 47th Congress of the International Society for the History of Medicine, which will take place in Riga from 23 to 27 August.

More information can be found on the symposium's website:

Participants are welcome to register by 23 August. Participation fee: £25.

Register and pay

RSU students and staff can attend free of charge.

The project was developed in cooperation with AEIMS / BIOMAB / ARSIC. The project is supported by the Embassy of Belgium in Latvia and Sweden, General Representation of the Government of Flanders in Poland and the Baltic States, Vesalius Trust and Honorary Consul of Belgium in Latvia Didzis Gavars.